Archives for December, 2018

Careers: Anyone Can Win – How You Lose Defines Your Character!

Well, not quite as happy for me since I lost a major executive search…that really surprised me. This particular client was in financial distress many years ago. They asked me to find a top notch CEO, which I did, and he completely turned the ship around. One of my best placements…ever.

So when he left after five years, I was pretty certain the client would select me to backfill the role. Nope. After several months of delays, they picked a different Executive Recruiter. What? Fifteen years I have owned this business and I have never, ever been caught so off guard. But it reminded me something important my Dad taught me growing up, and I thought I would share it with you.

Anyone Can Win: It’s How You Lose that Defines Your Character – One of the best lessons my Daddy ever taught me. Who doesn’t like to win? We all do! Anybody can win. It’s how you handle LOSING that defines your character. My response to the client after getting the bad news? “I’m a big fan of the company. If the other Recruiter does not work out, I would love to help. Make no mistake, I’ll be rooting for you!” Why? Because losing graciously is the best option. The only option. Some of you are thinking, “Tell them to go pound sand and thank them for their completely lack of loyalty.” Being negative or nasty does not change anything. There is absolutely no benefit to being ugly. I have a limited amount of time and energy, so I choose to focus on people that WANT to be on my bus. Let’s look at another example: Candidates that don’t get a job offer. Do they say, “Wow, I need to improve my interview skills” or “Probably was not the right culture fit”? Oh hell no! Their feedback is that the company sucks, the hiring manager sucks, and my personal favorite, “It’s their loss.” Bahahahaha! All that says is you are NOT an “A” player. That is how “B” players react. As someone once said, “We have to fail so we can practice being brave.”

Relationships Trump Talent – Trust me, as someone that is immersed in the casino space, I know this better than anyone. How else do you explain the knuckleheads that just keeping job…after…job…after job. They embezzle. They have inappropriate relationships with staff members. They abuse alcoholic and drugs. But they always have a friend that hires them…again. On the Executive Recruiter side I have seen the worst of the worst. Recruiters that take clients to Strip Clubs, send them on Caribbean Cruises and take cash bribes. My Dad raised me to be a person of integrity. I’ll be cleaning ashtrays at Caesars Palace before I do anything that impugns my integrity.

Son, They Will Get What’s Comin’ to ‘Em – Here is something else my Dad taught me, Karma is VERY real. He would say, “Son, they will get what’ comin’ to ‘em. No need for you to help.” And it’s true. If someone treats you poorly, they are probably treating everyone poorly. Eventually they get instant Karma. Fired, terminated, run out of town. I can name a dozen guys that never worked again. When you forgive someone for slighting you, the person you are setting free…is you. Remember, there is only one judge: God. As Mother Teresa says, “It’s between them and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”

Everything Happens for a Reason – I’m not here to preach, however you believe in God…or you don’t. If you are a Believer, you know there is a master plan and everything happens for a reason. If not, then everything is just a random series of events in your life. Sometimes we don’t understand why bad things happen to us. There does not seem to be a legitimate reason. It’s not fair! Let me give you an example. A couple years back I met with the Tribal Council at a big casino. They wanted me to place a new CEO for them. Thought the meeting went really well, however they selected another Recruiter for the CEO search. Gosh darn it! Obviously I was disappointed, however I found out the Recruiter that got that search spent 12 months on it and they never hired anyone. He did not get paid a dime. Sometimes losing is way better than winning.

The Godfather’s 3 Secrets to Sales Success

I was a Chief Information Officer by trade. Wait, I was actually a Pro Bowler at the age of 18; however when I did not make it on the National PBA Tour I went back to school and studied technology and worked my way up to CIO.

Fast forward twenty years and I’m sales. Ugghhh! Am I the only one that dislikes business development? I just despise it.  Ten “no’s” for every “yes.” People with big egos beating you up. People that don’t return your phone calls. Struggling to hit your quota…every…single…month.

So here are the three rules I learned early on in my sales career that made my life much easier. Whether you are new to sales or a seasoned pro. I’ll preface this with the fact I’m a relationship person and NOT a transaction person. Relationship sales focuses on the good of the customer and long-term relationships. Transaction sales, which is what the majority of sales people use, focuses on making your quota at all costs.  And I know many transaction folks.  They are at every networking event pounding down the Scotch and throwing business cards at people.  Just not my thing.  I don’t drink and I don’t attend networking events.

They Don’t Know You Well Enough to Hate You – First thing to understand, especially if you are new to Sales, is that there is a massive amount of REJECTION. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Some days it’s 10 “no’s” for every “yes.” Always remember this: They don’t know you well enough to hate you. It has NOTHING to do with you. They are just not buying what you are selling. Don’t take it personally. There is a whole world of business clowns out there that are going kick dirt on you and treat you poorly. But as my Dad said, “They will get what’s coming to ‘em son. No need for you to help.” When I first started my Executive Recruiting business…it was brutal. I was kicked, beaten down and treated unprofessionally. Then came 2008 and they all came scurrying back like a bunch of roaches.  Instant Karma.  As Mother Teresa said, It’s between them and God, it was never between you and them anyway.”

Not All Business is Good Business – Recently a CEO wanted me to take on a big Executive Search. Told him I would love to work with him, however the job would require a Retainer (money up front to ensure I am compensated for my time.) Despite my excellent history with this client, and what I thought was a great relationship with the CEO, they declined. And I walked away. Why? Because they wasted 100 hours of my time previously. Why? Because they always pay way below market rate compensation. Hey, I like Timex, but this is Rolex. And most importantly because they have a history of hiring their friends after I’ve invested valuable time on the search. All business is NOT good business. Would I love to do that search?  Absolutely!  But those terms are 100% in their favor.  IT’S BAD BUSINESS.  One more story. I sold a client a million dollars of personal computers many years ago. They wanted a 3% margin with Net 30 -3 terms. You read that right. If they pay in 30 days my profit margin is ZERO. So I sell them the PCs.  They “late pay” and take their 3% discount anyway!  The God’s honest truth. They are a major Las Vegas company, however I rarely do business with them.  Everyone gets treated like a vendor as opposed to a business partner. to be crystal clear: Every client is NOT a good client. I don’t care how big they are. If they treat you like a vendor and won’t let you make a profit…it’s BAD BUSINESS.  Focus on the good clients!

By Referral Only – No cold calling! That is an IBM sales strategy circa 1965. Not only do I NOT take cold calls, I’m offended by anyone that tries it. We all have 24 hours in the day. The President, the Queen of England, Bill Gates, you, me. Time is the great equalizer.  Do you know the #1 fear of high level executives in America?  Having their time wasted by cold callers. Worst…strategy…ever. If you want to meet a company or an executive, find someone close to them that will make the introduction. A REFERRAL.  Now here is the key: You MUST have an outstanding value proposition. No CEO wants to “chat” or “network” with someone selling goods and services. How are you going to increase revenue? How are you going to reduce expenses? Come up with an amazing value proposition, then have their best friend introduce you.  It’s all about your unique value proposition.


Ellen Calls Out Lady Gaga: Why Didn’t You Return my Message?

Am I the only one that is frustrated when people don’t return my messages? I’ll bet NOT. It’s a total hot button for me!  Many years ago I left a couple messages for a client of mine. No response. So I’m having breakfast with a mutual friend and he says, “Don’t worry, Tim will call you when he wants something.” Sure enough, two weeks later I get a call, “Can you get me into the Foundation Room?” Bahahahaha! In a nutshell, that is the answer: My value proposition was not strong enough. Let’s look at a few legitimate (and not so legitimate!) reasons people don’t return your messages.

The Right Way to Leave a Message – I’m not a huge fan of texting or calling people unless it’s something very important. Why? Because we are all running on the treadmill of life. Busy, busy, busy. Texts are disruptive so I reserve them for family emergencies. I’ll pick up the phone for something important; however as an Executive Recruiter I don’t want to come off as aggressive. For most items, email works great, and people can return the message when they have an opportunity. The right way to leave a voice message is to slowly state your name, company if necessary, your phone number and THE PURPOSE OF YOUR CALL. Then say your name and phone number a second time.

The Legitimate Reasons

Your Unique Value Proposition – The reason most people don’t get back to you is your value proposition is not strong enough. There is a certain CEO that never gets back to me on anything. One day I emailed to ask if I could make an intro to a new client for his company. He responded in 30 seconds. Or how about the time I congratulated someone on winning an award. Same thing – immediate response. Last one. “I have a $500,000 job and thought you might be interested.” 100% response rate. Make sure you have a strong value proposition! 

Huh…What? – It’s quite possible your message got garbled, or you were speaking too quickly. If they don’t get back to you, email them in a couple days.

They Forgot – One of my best clients called during breakfast and I committed to getting right back to him. Totally forgot, and the next morning I was appalled. Called and apologized profusely. Sometimes we get really busy, and unless we write things down, we just flat forget. We are human.

You are Not #1 on the Priority List – I know YOU are the most important person to you, HOWEVER you can’t expect people to drop what they are doing all the time. I get a dozen people a week that get fired and think I’m going to make them my #1 priority. Nope. God, family, friends. Then business, and my clients come first. If you are in sales, I know you want to close the deal. I know you want to make your quota, but your quota is not your client’s primary concern. Are you with me? The more pressure you exert, the worse the outcome.

Cold Calls – Unacceptable. If you want to speak with someone, get a referral. As one executive recently posted on LinkedIn, “I get 200 cold calls a week. If I took all those calls, there would be no time left to do my job.” Spot on! I don’t take cold calls. Unless the number is in my Rolodex, everything goes to voicemail. Why? Because I get 20 cold calls a day from candidates. Executive Recruiters get people for jobs…not jobs for people.

Did You Get my Email? – Does it drive you crazy when someone sends you an email, then calls ten minutes later to ask if you received it? I get it, some people are attached to their phones and/or work 70 hours a week. I don’t. And I get 500+ emails a day and up to 50 phone calls. I have to focus on what’s important. That could be family issues, filling a big executive search or helping a friend. This is not the TV show 24. Don’t expect people to return your messages immediately. Give them 24 hours.

Health Issues – They could be out sick or be having health challenges. Your call does not make their radar if they have the flu.

Vacation or Traveling – Most people use “out of office” replies on their email, but not always. They may be traveling. Cut them a little slack and try back in a few days.

People Asking for Free Stuff – Do I look like a ticket agent? Lord send me $20 for every person that asked for free hotel rooms and tickets. I don’t ask for free stuff! These are my clients. They make money by selling hotel rooms and tickets. Don’t ask for things you are not entitled to.

No Means NO – I had a guy apply for a CFO role. He was not a fit, and I courteously and professionally told him I could not represent him. He fired back a nasty email. My response was, “At this level I stick with executives I know personally.” There is good reason for that. I don’t get to make mistakes. My reputation is attached to every candidate I submit. Far too risky to submit executives I don’t know and have never met. Once I professionally say, “No thank you” I no longer owe anyone an explanation.

Everyone is on a Hard Journey – You have no idea what’s going on in their life. Alcoholism. Divorce. Death in the family. There are so many trials and tribulation in life. Don’t immediately assume someone hates you because they don’t get back to you right away. They don’t know you well enough to hate you!

The Excuses (Not Cool!)

You Can’t do Anything for Them – Yep, this is the big one. They are not buying what you are selling. We call these people “acquaintances.” Friends ALWAYS call you back. I could write pages about the people that dismiss me, and then plead for assistance when they get terminated. Pretty crappy, huh? Such is life. It’s just human nature – 90% of people only call to ask for something.

Narcissistic Meglomanics – You know the kind! Arrogant. Egotistical. They wear Ultimate Hubris Cologne. These folks, and they are many, only care about themselves. It’s a character defect. Sure, they call their Boss back. Or anyone that might be able to do something for them, however it’s best to avoid them. They will never add value. Focus on the good people.

Awkward! – In some cases they are uncomfortable speaking with you. They don’t want to tell you “no” and figure you will go away if they just don’t return your calls.

They Will Get What’s Coming to ‘Em – When I started by Executive Recruiting business 15 years ago, someone much smarter than me gave me some advice. He said, “You know Mark, it’s all good right now. Full employment; no one returns your calls. But trust me, the pendulum always swings, and when the economy goes south your phone will light up like a Christmas tree. All the people that treated you poorly and dismissed you will suddenly remember your cell phone number.” August 2008 he became a Prophet. And as my Daddy used to say, “Son, they will get what’s coming to ‘em. No need for you to help.” Those that treat everyone around them poorly eventually have problems. Karma is very real.

Personally, I return every single message, including cold calls. In many cases the response is, “Thank you so much, however I don’t have interest at this time” or “I only represent candidates I know personally or by referral.” Dismissing people says, “You are not important.” Getting back to people is the right thing to do, and the way my Dad raised me.

No More Cold Calls!

I read an interesting post from a senior level executive on LinkedIn. He complained about all the people soliciting him; as many as 200 a week. I get that. Totally. As an Executive Recruiter I get a dozen cold calls a day. Mostly candidates looking for work, however there are also the solicitors. Products, services, people asking for introductions or investments.

This executive was saying that if he took all those cold calls and meetings, he would literally get nothing done at work. And he is spot on. I know I don’t want to work 70 hours a week with the majority of that time meeting with people I don’t know and have never met.  On the other hand, I have compassion for their situation. Mostly people out of work and desperate to find a new job. Here are a few thoughts on the topic of COLD CALLS.

This is What I Do; I Don’t Apologize for It – I used to be a Mechanic in a Bowling Alley. We had a chemical salesman that sold us cleaning agents. Whenever he showed up, we all made fun of him hawking spray bottles and cleaner. Bahahahaha! What a crappy job! One day he says, “You know what Mark, this job puts food on my table and pays for my kids to go to school. I don’t apologize for it.” I never gave him grief again. Why? Because he is absolutely right. We are all selling something. Trust me, I have taken my share of poor treatment from people, mostly Human Resources executives that feel recruiting is “their job” or are envious of my relationships with their top executives. The funny part is, they are the first people to send me a resume when they get terminated.

Referrals are the Only Way to Fly! – The best way to develop new business is by referral. I don’t cold call customers, I determine the correct executive to approach, find a common friend and ask for an introduction. Rather than ask for a meeting, I send over a company PDF with client testimonials and say, “If I can ever help, let me know.” Time is the great leveler and an executive’s most valuable asset. We all have 24 hours in a day. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, me, you. And I have no interest in wasting someone’s valuable time unless I can add value.

An Attitude of Gratitude – The last point I want to make is super important: Be thankful for what you have. Right here, right now. If you have your health, your family and friends, everything else is a bonus. This executive has a great job at a great company. And that is awesome…until the day it isn’t. It’s a short walk from Park Place to the Park Bench, so show a little compassion. I’m not saying take all the meetings, however I personally respond to every single cold call, even if my answer is a polite “no thank you.” My wife and I were blessed to celebrate our fifth Wedding Anniversary in South Africa. We are animal lovers; however the highlight of our trip was a visit to the Mazinyane Pre-School and Swa Vana Orphanage. It reminded us that everything is relative in life. While Americans are marching up and down the streets whining about what they don’t have, these kids literally have zero. They are ecstatic to be able to attend school or be at the Orphanage. Why? Because it could be a whole lot worse. Be grateful for what you DO have.  And always remember this, everyone is on a tough journey, so be kind.



It’s a Short Walk from Park Place to the Park Bench: The Right Way to Leave Your Job

I used to rule the world, Seas would rise when I gave the word.  Now in the morning, I sleep alone, Sweep the streets I used to own. (Viva La Vida, Coldplay)

On the tenth anniversary of Depression 2.0, I was thinking about how executives should gracefully exit a job.  Over the last 12 months I have seen it done incorrectly a hundred times, with the requisite poor results. Whether you are terminated, laid off or quitting, here are a few recommendations.

You are a Consulting Company of ONE – This is a mindset. View yourself as a company of ONE, a consultant that just happens to be on someone’s payroll.  The days of 30 years at IBM and the gold watch are over. By loyal to your employer; but me more loyal to yourself, your family and your career. When the company is done with you…they are done with you. Never, ever forget that.  They don’t give a fat rat’s ass about your mortgage or kid’s education. When Depression 2.0 hit in 2008, millions of executives were laid off without notice. Watch out for #1.

You are Family…Until you are Not – You are family until the day you are not, then they terminate you and enforce your non-compete. Senior level executives that think they are “immortal” are shocked back to reality when they are terminated without warning. I can name a dozen CEOs and GMs that got too big for their britches and were unceremoniously run off. Always treat people with courtesy, dignity and respect no matter how impressive your title.  Those same people you passed on the way up…are the same people you will pass on the way down. Cultivate your professional network. Make friends with an Executive Recruiter or two. The wrong time to call a Recruiter is when you are unemployed. You are not immortal.

If You Can’t Pay Cash, You Can’t Have One – That was my Dad’s advice. Translation: Have zero debt and six months of salary in a savings account. Unfortunately, most people spend every nickel they get on “stuff”, so when they lose their job it’s a full-on financial crisis. Did you know 70% of Americans can’t afford to retire? In general, a $100,000 job search takes one to three months. At $300,000 it might be six to twelve months. Hope for the best; plan for the worst.

It’s a Small, Small World: Exit Gracefully – Walt Disney was right. Relationships trump talent. If you remember nothing else, remember this: DON’T BURN BRIDGES. It may feed your ego, however it can come back to haunt you in a big way. When I placed GMs for Ameristar Casinos, the CEO would send the resume to his 10 existing GMs. If anyone had an issue with the candidate, they were disqualified. Las Vegas is a town of 2,000,000 run by 200. And they all know each other. You make a mistake in Las Vegas and you get run out of town. Shake hands and part friends when you exit. There is no upside to burning bridges.

The Walk Away Package – Once the company fires a shot across the bow, and you know they are unhappy with you, make the best of the situation. Go to your boss and say, “If you don’t want me here, I don’t want to be here. Let’s work something out.” Don’t stay until the bitter end. You are NOT going to make a comeback.  I have seen executives get 12 to 18 month’s severance pay. Heck, I can name a couple CEOs that got millions of dollars to walk away. Get a great severance package and move on.

Why Nobody Returns Your Calls – They say you are blessed to have five true friends during your lifetime. When you get terminated, you find out who they are. Why?  Because you are just one more unemployed person. You can’t buy from the vendors. You can’t get people jobs. And when you can’t DO for people, they forget your name. Not being cynical, just realistic. Most people are acquaintances. Don’t take it personally. Focus on the people that want to be on your bus.

Everything Happens for a Reason – Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Don’t obsess about it. Your company and Boss are not obsessing about YOU.  Take responsibility for your actions and move on. Bitterness and unhappiness come through during an interview; let it go. Take some time off, decompress and get your head back in the game. Besides, if God is for us, who can be against us?  Everything happens for a reason.


Ryan Serhant’s (Million Dollar Listing) LONGEST Day – 3 Sales Lessons, 3 Life Lessons

I enjoy watching Million Dollar Listing, the Bravo show about Realtors. The show strikes a chord with me because Realtors sell real estate and as an Executive Recruiter, I sell people.

In a recent episode, Realtor Ryan Serhant lost the biggest deal of his career – the opportunity to sell out a building in China. Ryan couldn’t get a business Visa due to the current political climate (tariffs, trade war) between the US and China. No Visa, no deal.

To add insult to injury, Ryan lost another major real estate deal the same day. He had been following up with a Developer for three years on a particular property. When he met with the Developer Ryan was shocked to find out they were interviewing other Brokers, and was even more surprised when they eventually selected a different Broker. He was OUT. That is one long day.

I own an Executive Recruiting company; my wife owns her book of business (insurance). We have something in common with Ryan Serhant – if we don’t sell, we don’t eat. No salary. We have to pay for our health insurance. No sick days or vacation days. Success is a product of activity, hustle and old fashioned hard work. Here are the three lessons I took away from Ryan’s longest day.

Lesson #1: Don’t Stress Over Things You Can’t Control – Stress is actually defined as worrying about situations or people you have no control over. Despite his best efforts, Ryan could not get a business Visa for China. It’s frustrating, but at the end of the day Ryan had no control over the situation. I once closed 9 deals in a row. On the other hand, I once lost 5 deals in a row that I thought were a cinch. Worrying and stressing out won’t change anything. Everything happens for a reason. Move on.

Lesson #2: Not Everyone Wants to be Your Friend – Ryan thought the Developer was his friend. And she probably is, however I can understand his disappointment when he was not selected for the project. Trust me, been there many times. Heck, half the people I get jobs don’t even say thank you. My wife had a big account for years. She saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars, fine-tuned their program (they were a mess!) and did an outstanding job in every aspect. One day a new person shows up and changes brokers. We thought we were personal friends with the CEO. Nope. My point is that not everyone wants to be your friend. Don’t go through life bitter and unhappy because people don’t meet your expectations. They rarely do.

Lesson #3: Never, Ever Give Up! – My Dad gave me plenty of great advice; however this was the best and most important: Never, ever give up. Some people learn from adversity, others are crushed by it. Put another way, anyone can win. The true test of character is how you lose. You can’t control how other people treat you, only how you react to it. No matter how poorly a day goes, get up the next morning and try again.

Not Everyone Wants to Be Your Friend – 4 Life Lesson for a Mixed Up World

Two of my best friends passed away this month. Kind, compassionate, generous people. Jesus said, “Whatever you did for the least of My Brothers, you did for Me.” These two literally helped thousands of people. God reserved a special place in Heaven for them. It reminded me of four life lessons that help me deal with this mixed up world on a daily basis.

You are Blessed to Have 5 True Friends in Life – Want to find out who they are? Get fired from your job and see who calls you back. One CEO told me, “I thought I had five friends; it’s possible I have zero.” Most people are acquaintances.  Your true friends are always there for you, rain or shine.

Don’t Have High Expectations – People may disappoint you. Not everyone is a person of integrity like you. Candidates lie to me on a regular basis. Not everyone calls you back. Personally, I call everyone back because my Dad taught me it was the right way to treat people, but most people are only going to call you to ask for something. Not everyone keeps their commitments and shows up. I’ve paid $1,000 for someone to sit at my table at a charity event and they are a “no show no call.” People are people. Lower your expectations and you won’t be as disappointed.

Don’t Worry About What People Say About You – Someone at an A.A. meeting once said, “I was able to stop drinking the day I realized that I don’t care what you have to say about me.” As a Recruiter I get dirt kicked on me every day. One candidate told me, “You say you are a Christian, but you won’t help me get a job.” Always remember, everyone is on a hard journey, so don’t take their remarks personally. Let go and let God.

Not Everyone Wants to Be Your Friend – When I first started my Executive Recruiting business, I placed a “C” level technology executive. She never said thank you. She never bought me a cup of coffee or sent me any business. Someone told me, “Mark, you are an Executive Recruiter. It’s what you do – get people jobs. She doesn’t want to be your friend.” I have placed dozens of people…and never heard from them again unless they got fired and needed another job. Focus on the people that WANT to be on your bus.

Finally, here is my favorite quote from Mother Teresa:

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

Stunning Career Statistic!: Only 5 in 100 People Will Be Successful

Here is the shocking statistic from the Social Security Administration. If you take 100 people at the beginning of their careers, and follow them for the next 40 years to retirement, here is what you will find:

  • 1 will be wealthy
  • 4 will be financially secure
  • 5 will have to continue working – because they have to
  • 36 will be dead
  • 54 will be broke and dependent on friends, family and the government to take care of them

Wow! In summary, 5% will be successful and 95% will struggle their whole lives. Pretty shocking, yes?

My name is Mark Wayman and for the last 15 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, average base salary is $250,000, and last year I placed several executives north of a million dollars.

Disclaimer: Only represent executives I know personally or by referral. No online job postings, no candidate databases, no unsolicited resumes. No disrespect intended! Also, all Troll comments on the article will be deleted. Thank you!

Back to our story. When I started my Executive Recruiting business 15 years ago, I categorized candidates the way you would grade students in school. The top 10% are the “A” candidates, the next 10% are “B” candidates and the rest are not someone I can represent. I’m sure they are lovely people and in no way am I judging them. At $100,000+ salary levels, my clients pay me to find the best of the best. If they are below $100,000 or don’t want “A” players they can post ads on and Zip Recruiter.

Here is where it gets more interesting, at least for me. Over the course of 15 years I came to a different conclusion. The “A” candidates are actually the top 5%, maybe even the top 2%. I can’t believe how many people with high quality resumes do silly things. The CFO that failed the drug test. The high tech exec that left his cell phone on his desk and emailed in his resignation. The marketing executive that took my job for three months until she could “find something better.” The engineering executive that took my client’s job offer, then reneged three days later when he got a counter-offer.

You’re laughing, right? These are not $12 an hour employees. They make $200,000 to $500,000 a year. And we can disagree on whether the aforementioned behavior makes you a “B” player (or worse!), but for me, they are not people I would ever represent again. That’s what’s great about America – we can all have differing opinions and still be friends.

So here is the lesson in all this. God gives us in choices. And every choice eliminates 50% of the possibilities. Choose wisely…and God bless!

The Secret to Success: You Have to SHOW UP

People talk about getting lucky breaks in their careers. I’m living proof that the ‘lucky breaks’ theory is simply wrong. You get to make your own luck. The world is run by those who show up…not those who wait to be asked. (Steve Blank)

My name is Mark Wayman and for the last 15 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, average base salary is $250,000, and last year I placed several executives north of a million dollars.

Disclaimer: Only represent executives I know personally or by referral. No online job postings, no candidate databases, no unsolicited resumes. No disrespect intended!

Probably best known for my monthly gaming/casino newsletter that goes out to 5,000 executives. Who got hired, who got fired and all the latest gaming/casino news. If you want to keep up in real time, follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter (@GodfatherWaym). End of promo!

This article gives several attributes common to successful executives. How do I know? Because I have reviewed hundreds of thousands of resumes and placed 900+ senior level executives over the last 15 years. There is definitely a pattern to success. You have to show up!

You Have to Show Up, Part 1 – Many years ago I hosted a professional mixer for CIOs at Hollywood Park called “A Day at the Races.” The purpose of my private, invitation-only events is always the same: For my clients and friends to meet each other. And for me to catch up with them and get to know them better. No sales, marketing, promoting, selling or soliciting. There were 25 CIOs on the guest list this day. Only 15 showed up. That is a 40% “no call no show” factor. The next day three of the 15 no shows sent me resumes and asked for jobs. I kid you not! This is not meant to be an indictment of anti-social CIOs; the point is that to be successful in life YOU MUST SHOW UP. If you don’t have an hour to meet with me in person and shake my hand, I don’t have the time and effort to invest in finding you a $500,000 job. You can spin it however you want, however repeatedly failing to show up and keep your commitments is a character flaw.

You Have to Show Up, Part 2 – We all have the occasional emergency that forces us to cancel a meeting, commitment or professional event. I do, you do, we all do. That stated, if you are a no show multiple times, THAT is a “pattern.” My real hot button is people that RSVP for charity events and don’t show up. Integrity is defined as honesty and having strong moral values. You word is your bond. You keep your commitments. Lord, please send me $100 for every executives that was a no show at my client mixers, then asked me for a job. My response is, “If you had shown up you would have met a dozen possible employers.”

A Town Called SomeDay – Most people live in a town called SomeDay. Someday I will go back to college and get my degree. Someday I will move on from this dead end job. Someday I’ll write that book or take dance lessons or learn to play the piano. While they are talking about it, successful executives are actually DOING IT. This is one of the biggest difference between highly successful executives and the also-rans, the successful people TRY.

Not My Fault: An American Epidemic – Do you know how many candidates tell me they were fired? None! Not one. They resigned. They are a Consultant. Whatever. And why did you resign? The company was intolerable. My boss was a jerk. My parents treated me poorly. My spouse does not support me. My kids keep me up at night. My dog’s Veterinarian’s said something bad about me. You think I’m being ridiculous? Thousands of candidates over the last 15 years and not one said, “I was terminated for cause.” If you want to be an “A” player, the top 5% of executive candidates, stop with the blame game. Quit blaming everyone around you for your choices.  And that’s what God give us: choices. Take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for your actions.

The Secret: Hard Work – Have you read that book THE SECRET. It states that if you think about the things you want, they will materialize. Bahahahahahha! I’m all about positive thinking, however that is pretty silly. The sad thing is that millions bought into this ridiculous concept. Why? Because they want to sit around watching the Kardashians and make millions of dollars. The foolish always want for free what the wise worked hard to get.  They begrudge the wealthy and successful. “They must have inherited the money.” “They probably hit the lottery. Not true. The myth that rich people inherited it or “got lucky” is just that – a myth. Most millionaires in America are self-made. Here is THE SECRET: Hard work.  Most high net worth people started with nothing; many are immigrants that came to American with nothing.. Hard work is the ONLY secret to success. And the best advice my Dad ever gave me? Never, ever give up!